The presidency says Matthew Kukah, Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, doesn’t speak like a man of God over his claim that only Christian schools are being attacked by bandits.
Addressing the United States Congress Commission, Kukah had criticized the Bhari administration for failing to address insecurity.
He also accused Buhari of being tribalistic, which has worsened the level of rivalry between Christians and Muslims.
However, reacting in a statement on Sunday, Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, said Kukah wad trying to sow discord and strife among Nigerian.
Shehu said: “With due respect to the esteemed position he holds, the Bishop’s assertion that only Christian schools are being targeted by bandits or terrorists is not supported by the facts on the ground.
“It is sad to say but also true that victims of crime, kidnapping, banditry and terrorism cut across all strata of the society. Sad but true that Kankara students in Katsina State were stolen by bandits of the same Islamic faith as those they took away
“The same may be true of those who are still holding the 134 students of the Islamic School at Tegina in Niger State. The nation witnessed the sad incident of the female students abducted by bandits at Jangebe in Zamfara State and the over 100 predominantly Muslim students of the Federal Government Girls College Birnin Yauri in Kebbi State who are currently in captivity — and the nation’s security agencies are hard at work to release them unharmed.
“The attack on Christian students is sad and unacceptable; so also is the abduction of students of other faiths. The claim that only Christian schools are being targeted is totally untrue.”
According to the presidential spokesman, it is unfortunate and disappointing for citizens of Nigeria to bear witness to “one of their churchmen” castigating their country in front of representatives of a foreign parliament.
“Only this government has put forward the first and singular plan in nearly a century to address herder-farmer challenges — a fact recognised by international NGOs, including the International Crisis Group. To declare to a foreign audience that this government does nothing is an incredible falsehood.
“There is no bias in this government when the president is northern and Muslim, the vice president southern and Christian, and the cabinet equally balanced between the two religions.
“But neither is there anything in our Constitution to state that political posts must be apportioned according to ethnicity or faith.
“It takes a warped frame of mind for a critic to believe ethnicity is of primary importance in public appointments. It is yet more troubling to hear a churchman isolating one group for criticism purely on ethnic lines.”
The presidential spokesman advised Nigerians to live in harmony, despite their religious differences.
“The bandit, kidnapper and terrorist are the enemies of the people who should be confronted in unison,” he added.
In his Easter message earlier in the year, Kukah had also described Nigeria as a “killing field” under the Buhari administration.
COVID-19: FG relaxes restriction on foreign travellers
The Federal Government has relaxed the restriction on foreign travellers without evidence of payment for their COVID-19 PCR test.
In a memo by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, foreign airlines were asked to board passengers without evidence of payment for day seven COVID-19 PCR test or generate paid QR code/permit to fly.
The memo dated September 11, 2021, and issued by Director-General of NCAA, Musa Nuhu, was titled “Permission for airlines to board passengers travelling to Nigeria who are unable to show evidence of payment for day seven COVID-19 PCR test or generate paid QR code/permit to fly”.
Nuhu said the decision was taken in view of the challenges some travellers to Nigeria were experiencing while trying to fill their Health and Travel history into Nigeria’s International Travel portal.
The memo read, “The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has been made aware of challenges some travelers are experiencing while trying to fill their Health and travel history into the Nigeria International Travel Portal
“Airlines are thereby permitted to board any traveller to Nigeria who is unable to either pay for the repeat Day Seven COVID-19 PCR test or generate the paid QR code/ permit to fly.
“Such passengers will be required to make payment for the repeat Day Seven COVID-19 PCR test at their destination airport in Nigeria.
“Holders of Diplomatic passports and Children aged 10 years and below who are unable to complete NITP are to be allowed to board the flight.
“Their health declaration and travel history will be captured by the Port Health Services (PHS) at the destination airport.
“Airlines are to bring this information to the knowledge of the passenger and ensure strict compliance with above-stated conditions.”
Biden, Obama, Clinton remember 9/11 victims
Three presidents and their wives shared a moment of silence together to mark the anniversary of the U.S. worst terror attack with a display of unity.
President Joe Biden and former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton all gathered at the site where the World Trade Center towers fell two decades ago, precisely September 11, 2001.
They each wore blue ribbons and held their hands over their hearts as a procession marched a flag through the memorial, watched by hundreds of Americans gathered for the remembrance, some carrying photos of loved ones lost in the attacks, according to reports.
Before the event began, a jet flew overhead in an eerie echo of the attacks, drawing a glance from Biden toward the sky.
Biden was a senator when hijackers commandeered four planes and executed the attack. Now he marks the 9/11 anniversary for the first time as Commander-in-Chief.
The president will spend Saturday paying his respects at the trio of sites where the planes crashed, but he left the speech-making to others.
The White House had on Friday released a taped address in which Biden spoke of the “true sense of national unity” that emerged after the attacks, seen in “heroism everywhere – in places expected and unexpected.
“To me, that’s the central lesson of Sept. 11,” he said. “Unity is our greatest strength.”
Following the ceremony in New York City, Biden visited the field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where a plane fell from the sky after heroic passengers fought terrorists to prevent it from reaching its Washington destination.
He also visited the Pentagon, where the world’s mightiest military suffered an unthinkable blow to its very home.
Former President George W. Bush, who was reading a book to Florida schoolchildren when the planes slammed into the World Trade Center, paid his respects in Shanksville.
He said Sept. 11 showed that Americans can come together despite their differences.
“So much of our politics has become a naked appeal to anger, fear, and resentment.
“On America’s day of trial and grief, I saw millions of people instinctively grab their neighbor’s hand and rally to the cause of one another. That is the America know.
“It is the truest version of ourselves. It is what we have been and what we can be again,” Bush said.
Bandits planning to attack Yoruba states – Gani Adams
The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, and other members of the South-West Security Stakeholders Group have raised alarm that bandits are plotting to attack the region and security agencies must be on alert.
This came after Kaduna State-based Islamic scholar, Ahmad Gumi, visited Sunday Igboho’s town, Igboho, in Oyo State.
In a viral video on Tuesday, the controversial Islamic cleric was sighted in Igboho town in the company of a former Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof Usman Yusuf.
Speaking after an emergency meeting, the security group slammed Sheikh Gumi for embarking on a visit to Igboho town, saying the visit was an “attempt to mock and undermine the efforts of the Yoruba activists and freedom fighters.”
They stated that the Islamic cleric’s body language as well as statements in Igboho town “truly showed that he was behind the DSS attack on Igboho’s Soka home, and that part of the Yoruba territories have been conquered.”
“Gumi is a Nigerian, he has a right to visit any part of the country but it shouldn’t be to the extent of being deliberately attacking Igboho’s ideology in his hometown.
“Such an attempt is provocative and can lead to a crisis. That was why it elicited various reactions. Gumi’s ideas are always at variance with the present reality in the country and I think it is better for him to desist from fanning the embers of discord in the country and the southwest in particular,” the statement partly read.
The security stakeholders also warned bandits and other “bad elements” to stay away from the South-West region.
They claimed that that “there are feelings that bandits have perfected their plans to strike in South-West.”
The statement added, “On this note, the South-West Security Stakeholders Group has considered it necessary to beef up the security operations in our region, and we charged the police and all other security outfits, across the region to remain vigilant in ensuring that the region is safe. Any attempt to invade the South-West will bring about both economic and political doom.
“SSSG is driven by the calls to ensure effective security across the South-West. We are also keen on regionalism where each region will control the security architecture of their respective region. If Nigeria didn’t return to or go back to regionalism based on the true Federalism that we have in the past, there may be a crisis and nobody should blame those agitating for self-determination.”
“But as a group, we will not relent in the struggle to protect the South-West and we are determined to partner with the police and other security agencies to combat crime and make the region safe for all and sundry.”
Source – Sahara Reporters